T Nation

Long term effect of Anabolic Diet or similar hypercaloric lowcarb approach

Has anyone out there gained significant LBM when on a severly carb restricted, yet hypercaloric, diet? Including or excluding post workout carbs?
Please give me your feedback and comparsions with a more mainstream “carby” diet approach!
I really like keto diets and would like to incorporate it into my lifestyle but the problem is that my performance stagnates A LOT when glycogen depleted( which is the case NOW, when using a Standard Ketogenic Diet HYPOcaloric).

I would say that your “performance” will get better the longer you maintain the “keto” diet==I might suggest eliminating the carb-ups for a while and stay in ketosis (irregardless of whether hypo or hyper caloric) as it will allow your body to become more efficient at utilzing fat as a fuel–indeed, the roughest part of keto for me is coming in and going out–once in, and staying in, I find myself to have equal or better performance with the iron

as for gaining LBM on a hypercaloric keto diet you will, as you can’t violate the law of thermodynamics–even without insulin, ketones can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, as they themselves mimick the effect of insulin (when present in high quantity).

A while ago a friend of mine was going to Bali and he wanted to put on some quick muscle so we trained 5 days a week for the couple of weeks before his trip. Three of those days we were training twice a day and the other two we trained once a day. We followed a high fat low carb diet for all of our meals except post workout, when we would consume substantial amounts of carbs. Along with the carbs I was taking BCAA’s and my friend was taking whey protein. I can’t tell you how much weight I put on as I never weighed myself but I got noticeably bigger in that short time, and my friend hit 80 kilos for the first time in his life, also noticeably bigger.
I still follow a similar diet,always taking carbs after I train. I love to cycle in the hills, and have more than enough glycogen stored due to this style of eating to handle a good steep climb. Sometimes when I am bouncing up the hills on my bike I think of these yo-yo’s who say that low carb diets are bad for endurance. Not if you do it right…

Do you eliminate post workout carbs as well? What effects does a P+F-only meal have on muscle regeneration post workout?

In my experience, when I just started a low carb diet my performance literally hit the toilet. When I say “low-carb” I mean virtually no carbs at all. The upside was that I lost 18 lbs within a month’s time (or something close to that). The downside was that I was feeling flat and had to go back to lifting my college weights.

Then, I started taking high carb/protein shake immediately post workout and added some greens to my diet. Everything suddenly changed. I have plenty of energy and I my LBM gains have been substantial - along with a massive surge in strength. And no, I didn’t gain any flab back.

So, low-carb is great - but you really gotta do it right.


My experience with keto diets has been much the same as Vain68’s. Staying in ketosis longer with fewer carb ups lets me adjust easier. My performance in the gym doesn’t suffer on low-carb diets, but if I add in cardio it does. Without cardio, I can maintain and even add LBM on keto diets. However I absolutely cannot grapple or train in any combat arts while on a keto diets. I literally gas out in 5 mins.